It seems like a done deal. EV vehicles are becoming more and more common, and the future looks electric. That is all very promising, but without preparing the proper infrastructure, this future may be bleak, and the road to it fraught with frustration. All along the value chain surrounding EV vehicles, we need to harness multi-layered data and mobility intelligence in order to facilitate the transition to EV and make sure we are ready for it. Electric vehicle charging infrastructure planning is especially critical as infrastructure takes time to build and is quite costly.
EV Charging Pitfalls
A revolution on the scale of moving from ICE to electrically powered vehicles does not happen overnight. Many of the aspects surrounding this transition are not obvious and can cause serious issues down the road. Take for example the surprising bottleneck caused by a shortage of Lithium and Nickel. Both are abundant and are used in making battery cells. But their providers are currently producing on a scale that matches the few cells per device needed to power home electronics, not the thousands of cells required to move each vehicle. This took Tesla by surprise, and it is keeping it, and other car manufacturers, from being able to meet demand.
But not all challenges need to come out of the blue, and with the help of multi-layered data and mobility intelligence many potential pitfalls that are the result of guesswork or ill-preparedness can be avoided or at least mitigated.
For those involved with the electric vehicle charging ecosystem, this is especially important, as infrastructure involves massive capital investments, and is difficult to quickly change.
Among those most affected by the question on EV charging infrastructure are:
- Charging station providers,
- Electrical grid providers,
- State and city level planners,
- Engineering companies doing projects for companies who need EV research done, and
- Consulting companies that specialize in EV’s and Grid research.
The Future of EV Charging Stations
A key part in being ready for the future of EV charging stations tomorrow is asking the right questions today. What shape is EV adoption going to take? What infrastructure do we need to put in place to support it?
EV charging infrastructure does not have to be a mystery, many of these questions can already be answered by looking at the data and by applying mobility intelligence. It is vital to understand how people actually behave, rather than going by our expectations, gut feeling, or what seems logical or rational to us. Using data can not only save a lot of money and shorten time to ROI, but also allow the discovery of multiple new opportunities.
Let’s look for example at where EV drivers are coming from and where they are going? Origin and destination demand mapping can be used to effectively place charging stations. In addition to visibility into driving patterns, information like the average distance from home to charging station, visitor rate to a cluster service area, traffic flow through the service cluster, duration of stay (fast/slow charging) and point interest in the service area can help optimize development of charging site locations.
Critical Questions for Deciding EV Charging Site Locations
- How do drivers actually charge their cars?
- Are they doing it once per day? Twice? At any given opportunity?
- Do people just charge their cars at home at night?
- How many of them charge at work?
Answering these questions can provide invaluable insights into how many charging stations are needed and of what type, for example level 1- Ordinary, level 2 – rapid or level 3 – DC Fast Charging. In addition, the answers give guidance as to how the grid should be prepared, how densely packed charging stations should be and how to prepare for surging demand for electricity.
Looking further into the data we can learn how demand fluctuates during each day, and plan the requirements for charging stations and the grid. Using real-time multi-layered data both providers and suppliers can even generate dynamical management systems adaptable to changing demand peaks and off-times.
We are passionate about the importance of data and mobility intelligence in helping bring about the EV revolution, and about how to leverage the knowledge we already have today, in the service of the success of the industry.
Click here to schedule a call with our data expert and explore how to use data to plan EV charging infrastructure.